What are varicose veins? What are spider veins?

What are varicose veins?

What are varicose veins?_ichhori.com

Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins that are generally blue or dark purple in appearance. Varicose veins can develop near the skin’s surface (superficial veins). The veins in the legs are the most usually affected. Varicose veins are a cosmetic concern for many people. However they can cause agonising pain and discomfort in certain people. Varicose veins can sometimes develop to more severe disorders.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are small, damaged veins that appear on the surface of the legs or face. They affect the body’s smallest blood vessels, the capillaries. Although they are rarely uncomfortable or harmful, some people may prefer to have them treated  for cosmetic reasons. Spider veins can be blue, purple or red, and they can appear as thin lines, webs, or branches.
Who gets varicose veins and spider veins?
Varicose veins and spider veins are more common in women. They can be exacerbated by pregnancy, old age, and obesity. Varicose veins affect near twice as many women as they do men, and they are more common in women over the age of 50. Varicose veins are thought to be caused by changes in estrogen levels in a woman’s blood. Puberty, pregnancy, lactation and menopause are examples of when such hormonal changes occur.
What are the symptoms of varicose veins and spider veins?
Veins of a dark purple or blue colour.
Veins that seem twisted and bulging, frequently like cords, on the legs.
Legs that feel achy or heavy.
Eczema and other skin rashes.
Brownish stains on the skin’s surface caused by explosion of capillaries.
Lower leg burning, aching, muscle cramps, and swelling.
Pain that worsens after sitting or standing for an extended period of time.
Itching in the area of one or more veins.
Changes in skin pigmentation.
Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, however, spider veins are smaller. Spider veins are red or blue and are found close to the skin’s surface. Spider veins are most commonly seen on the legs, although they can also appear on the face. They vary in size and frequently resemble a spider’s web.
Symptoms in women may be worse at specific times of the menstrual cycle or during pregnancy. Swelling, ulcers and darkening of the skin, particularly in the ankle area, are less common. Varicose veins can occasionally cause a painful blood clot with vein inflammation, a condition known as thrombophlebitis.
What causes varicose veins and spider veins?
Varicose veins and spider veins are caused by problems with the valves in the veins, which prevent blood from flowing normally. The heart pumps oxygen and nutrient-rich blood through the arteries to the entire body. Blood is then carried back to the heart via veins from different parts of the body. Normally, the valves in the veins work as one-way flaps. Blood can leak back into the bottom part of the vein instead of travelling towards the heart if the valves do not close properly. As more blood becomes lodged in the vein, pressure builds, weakening the vein’s walls. The vein then becomes enlarged as a result of this. 
Varicose veins and spider can be caused by a variety of factors including:
Occupations that require a lot of standing such as nurses, hairstylists, teachers and manufacturing employees.
Pregnancy, puberty, and menopause.
Taking birth control pills.
Hormone replacement therapy for postmenopausal women.
History of blood clots.
Tumours, constipation, and externally worn items like girdles can produce increased pressure in the abdomen.
Chronic venous insufficiency, which occurs when the skin does not exchange oxygen, nutrients, and toxins with the properly due to insufficient blood flow, is also a cause of varicose veins and spider veins. Other reported causes include skin damage or inflammation, previous vein surgery, and UV ray exposure.
Risk factors
Age: The valves in the veins that help control blood flow wear down with age, allowing some blood to flow back into the veins, where it accumulates.
Sex or gender: Female hormones relax vein walls, therefore variations in hormones before a menstrual period, during pregnancy, or during menopause could be an influence. Hormone therapy, such as birth control pills, has been linked to an increased risk of varicose veins.
Pregnancy: The volume of blood in the body increases during pregnancy. This change helps the baby grow, but it can also cause the veins in the legs to swell up.
Family history: If other members in the family have varicose veins, women are more likely to have them as well.
Obesity: Obesity puts additional strain on veins.
Excessive periods of standing or sitting: Blood flow is improved by movement. 
Are some women more at risk of varicose veins and spider veins?
Many things can damage the valves, however women are more likely to develop varicose veins and spider veins if they:
Have had varicose or spider veins in the family or a personal history of having them.
Sit or stand for long periods of time. Sitting or standing for an extended period of time, particularly for more than 4 hours at a time, might cause the veins to work harder against gravity to pump blood to the heart.
Are overweight. Obesity or being overweight might place additional strain on the veins. Obese women are more prone to develop varicose veins than women who maintain a healthy weight.
Are pregnant. The amount of blood rushing through the body increases during pregnancy to sustain the unborn baby. The veins swell up as a result of the increased blood. The veins are also pressed by the growing uterus. Varicose veins may disappear after childbirth or may persist and cause other problems. With each pregnancy, more varicose veins and spider veins may appear.
Are older. The valves in the veins may deteriorate and stop working as one becomes older. The calf muscles weaken as well. While walking, the calf muscles usually help in the compression of veins and the return of blood to the heart.
Are taking menopausal hormone therapy or hormonal birth control pills. The hormone estrogen may cause varicose veins by weakening vein valves. Taking esterogen and progesterone birth control, such as the pill, a patch, a shot, a vaginal ring, or an intrauterine device (IUD), or menopausal hormone therapy, can increase the risk of varicose and spider veins.
Have a problem that has caused the valves to malfunction. The valves might be damaged by blood clots in the legs or scarring of the veins.
Why do varicose veins spider veins usually appear in the legs?
The legs are the most commonly affected by varicose and spider veins. This is due to the fact that the veins in the legs carry blood against gravity and for the longest distance of any other part of the body. The majority of varicose and spider veins form in the legs as a result of body weight pressure. Leg veins, in comparison to other veins in the body, have the most difficult job of returning blood to the heart. They endure the most pressure and strain. 
Some risk factors for varicose and spider veins, including aging, hormonal changes, and personal or family history, may be beyond one’s control. But getting enough physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight, one may be able to lower the chance of developing varicose and spider veins.
1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/varicose-veins/symptoms-causes/syc-20350643
2. https://medlineplus.gov/varicoseveins.html
3. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4722-varicose-veins
4. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/varicose-veins
5. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/varicose-veins
6. https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/varicose-veins-and-spider-veins

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